International Development


August 9, 2013

To Lobby or Not To Lobby?

The answer is likely the former.  Or at least that’s what The Washington Post noted in a featured article last weekend about the Congressional August recess.  President Obama’s 501c4 group, Organizing for Action, has already called for an “Action August” to encourage folks around the country to challenge policymakers to—you know—actually do something.  While advocacy and lobbying aren’t synonymous, our Advocacy Progress Planner makes it clear that lobbying can be an advocacy organization’s best strategy at certain times.  And many seem to agree that this month is just one of those times.     

A Photo for Human Rights

This week, we came across, a web hub of human rights advocates who believe in the power of photography to advance social change.  As we’re very familiar with the work of the Aspen Institute’s Agent Orange in Vietnam Program, we couldn’t help but check out photographer Catherine Karnow’s 2010 digital exhibit, “Agent Orange: A Terrible Legacy.” The captions don’t just describe the images; they’re geared to educate and inspire you to become an advocate for the cause.       

Escaping the “Complex”

A couple of weeks ago, The New York Times published an opinion piece titled “The Charitable-Industrial Complex” (a close relative of that other complex we’ve all heard about).  Have you read it yet?  If not, you should.  There’s nothing radically new, as many in the past have advanced the same arguments against such “philanthropic colonialism.”  But the fact that this one is penned by Peter Buffett does make a difference.  It sometimes takes a well-positioned individual to upset the status quo.  Is Buffett that person?